New blockchain course to meet demand for talent

Targeted at working professionals, the course will include classes on creating cryptocurrencies, setting up of a blockchain system and developing smart contracts.
Targeted at working professionals, the course will include classes on creating cryptocurrencies, setting up of a blockchain system and developing smart contracts.PHOTO: REUTERS

A new beginner's course to meet the growing demand for talent in blockchain technology will start at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) in February next year.

Targeted at working professionals, Fintech - Blockchain (Beginner) will include classes on creating cryptocurrencies, setting up a blockchain system and developing smart contracts.

Students will also explore the impact of the emerging blockchain technology on the financial sector.

Classes will be conducted by Dr Ernie Teo, a former research scientist at IBM's Centre for Blockchain Innovation in Singapore.

Students will attend a three-hour session on a weekday evening and a six-hour session on Saturday over two months. They will also have to do online reading, research and project work. There is no full-time option as yet.

The course, developed by SP and the Token Economy Association, aims to "bridge the demand gap for blockchain talent with the right education", said association chairman Chia Hock Lai yesterday.

He noted the rising demand for blockchain developers as "legacy enterprises and the most promising start-ups look to build upon this early-stage technology".

For example, IT giant IBM and Mastercard have each filed more than 80 patents for blockchain-related technology, but they are "struggling to find sufficient talent to develop their initiatives", he said.

An intermediate course on advanced concepts such as initial coin offerings, among others, is in the works. It is expected to roll out in April next year, Mr Chia said.

Students who complete the two courses "will be competent enough to join the ranks of blockchain developers", he added.

The Token Economy Association will help connect students to career opportunities and professional projects, said Mr Chia.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2018, with the headline 'New blockchain course to meet demand for talent'. Print Edition | Subscribe